The City of Union is doing its part to make this year’s March of Dimes March for Babies in Union County even more successful than last year’s march.
Union City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to allocate $1,000 for the march which will be held Oct. 13 at Veterans Park. In presenting the proposal to council, Mayor Harold Thompson pointed out the March of Dimes is “one of the most recognizable national health charities.” That its goals include “saving South Carolina’s babies and giving every baby a healthy start.” That “93 cents of every dollar raised in South Carolina” goes toward funding that mission. In addition, Thompson pointed out that “1 in 7 babies are born premature” and that “184 babies a week are born premature in South Carolina.” Finally, Thompson pointed out that “premature birth is the leading cause of infant death.”
Thompson commended council for allocating the funds and also thanked the local officials who are leading this year’s effort.
“I really feel that city council did a wonderful thing by agreeing to donate $1,000 to the March for Babies,” Thompson said. “I think it is an investment in our future for those babies that really need help. Hats off to Andrena Powell-Baker and Joe Nichols for co-chairing the committee this year.”
Council’s decision was welcomed by Union County Development Board Executive Director Andrena Powell-Baker who, along with City of Union Utility Director Joe Nichols, is serving as co-chair for this year’s March for Babies.
“As one of the co-chairs I appreciate the city’s sponsorship of the March for Babies,” Powell-Baker said Wednesday. “This speaks volumes of their support and commitment to the community and this event. I certainly hope others will join the City of Union in either sponsoring this event or establishing teams within their organizations to raise funds for this very important cause.”
Nichols said Wednesday he’d contacted Lindsey Vickery, community director for the March of Dimes, about council’s decision.
“She was very excited,” Nichols said. “She wanted to thank council for the thousand dollar level of funding. We’re very appreciative of council’s decision to fund the March of Dimes at the thousand dollar level. This is a great mission and we look forward to achieving our goal of $34,000 and beyond for this year.”
In 2011, Union County Sheriff David Taylor and his wife, Betty Jo, served as the march’s co-chairs. The fund raising goal for that march was $22,000, but the effort exceeded its goal to raise just over $32,000.
The goal of the 2012 March for Babies in Union County is $34,000 and Powell-Baker said it hoped that this year’s goal will be exceeded like last year’s was.
“While we have a goal of $34,000 our intention is to exceed that goal,” Powell-Baker said. “The city’s contribution will help us in our effort to meet and exceed that goal.”
Each year, the South Carolina Chapter of the March of Dimes invests more than $1.5 million in mission initiatives statewide, including research grants and local community services. Through these program and services, the March of Dimes works to prevent birth defects and infant death, reduce South Carolina’s premature birth rate, increase access to prenatal care and educate the public about having healthy babies.
The Union County March for Babies is sponsored by Gestamp. Nationally, the event is sponsored by Kmart, Farmers Insurance, CIGNA, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, FedEx, Mission Pharmacal, Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response, and United Airlines.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the organization works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information about the March of Dimes, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. The March of Dimes is also on Facebook and Twitter.
Antique Farm Show
In other business, council also voted unanimously to contribute $1,000 to the Union County Antique Farm Show which will be held Sept. 15.
Thompson said that the request for the funding has been made by Union County County Tourism Director Will Boyles on behalf of the committee overseeing the show. He said that Boyles, who recently joined the committee, was requesting the funds “to help make sure this year’s show reaches its full potential.”
In addition, Thompson pointed out that the show “has been a huge success for the past 10 years and we would like to continue that growth.” He also pointed out that the show is a major draw for Union County, attracting not only local residents but tourists from outside the county as well.
Council also voted unanimously to contribute $200 to the Union County Pep Rally.
The pep rally, which is sponsored by WBCU and Holcome Funeral Home, celebrates the beinning of a new school year with live entertainment, free food, t-shirts, and giveaways. This year’s event will be held at the Union County Fairgrounds on Aug. 16 from 5:30-8 p.m.